The Coastal Star

Lantana: Quick response results in arrest in mail theft

By Mary Thurwachter

Lantana police made quick work in nabbing a Belle Glade lawn maintenance worker charged with snatching $200,000 worth of checks from a mailbox on South Atlantic Drive on Hypoluxo Island.

According to the police report, Marchello Wilbon, 34, was apprehended at the beach shortly after a resident with a home business found that 39 checks she had placed in her mailbox were missing July 15.

She discovered that the checks were missing when she returned to place additional mail in the box the same day.

She called her mail carrier to find out if he had already stopped to pick up her mail that day, but he said he had not. So, she called police.

The police also received a phone call from a man who described a suspect taking mail from the mailbox.

A neighbor, Michelle Donahue, also called police. She was in her home office talking on the phone when she saw a man racing through her backyard and over a fence.

“I could identify the T-shirt he wore,” Donahue told The Coastal Star. “When I called the police, they were there in no time. They worked as a team and caught the man at the beach. I was so impressed.”

Donahue brought a “very big thank you” to the July 22 Town Council meeting, where the Police Department won praise and applause.

“I have never seen a more swift group of police come into the island and into our neighborhood who worked so professionally with each other and with the residents,” Donahue said.

“Before we knew it, they had tracked this person down and arrested him and it was done and over and left our neighborhood safe and sound and at peace.”

Charged with mail theft, a federal offense, Wilbon was taken to the Palm Beach County Jail and could face up to five years in federal prison and fines of up to $250,000.

His case was turned over to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

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